Louisiana’s population declined by nearly 11,000 residents from 2018 to 2019 according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

26,000 people moved out of Louisiana to another state last year, the 6th highest number in the nation despite Louisiana’s relatively small total population. Demographer Greg Rigamer says blame the local economy.

“Net domestic migration is a clear indication that people are going elsewhere for employment,” says Rigamer.

Texas was the biggest recipient of Louisiana’s ex-pats and led the nation in total population growth at 367,000 new residents.

Rigamer says a lack of good-paying jobs is the number one factor driving people out of the state. He notes the median household income is only just above $46,000.

“It is an enduring problem, Louisiana is a very poor state, and when you look at the national and median household income and the median household income in Louisiana, there is a vast difference,” says Rigamer.

The national median household income sits at $63,000.

Despite several years in a row of population decline, Rigamer does not expect the state to lose a congressional seat in the 2020 census like it did in the 2010 census.

“We maintained about average for the overall population, and I truly do not expect to see a decrease in the number of representatives that we have,” says Rigamer.

With 2019 in the books, the Brookings Institute estimates the 2010s may have been the slowest population growth decade in American history at just 7.1%.